– Infratest inquiry: Majority of the Federal citizens for obligation subject ethics – (Second catching together – new: ReactionLandeskirche) =Berlin (epd). The initiative "Christians pro Ethics" has criticized the two large churches for their support of the Berlin referendum "Pro Reli". With view of the Protestant church it is to him "uneasy" that it made itself the request of the registered association Pro Reli too own and carried "with enormous propagandistic expenditure into the last corners of our church", said the minister at the French Friedrichstadtkirche, Stephan Frielinghaus, on Tuesday in Berlin. The fact that for a long time there had been no opposing position on this "does not suit us at all as a Protestant church.". In the meantime, the regional church once again sided with Pro Reli. In an appeal, the initiative reiterated its support for ethics, a compulsory subject introduced in Berlin in 2006, and opposes putting religious education on an equal footing with it. There must be a subject in which students from different ideological, cultural and social backgrounds can discuss ethical ies together, Frielinghaus said in justification of the proposal. Common values, respect and tolerance are indispensable for the peaceful coexistence of people in a multi-religious and multicultural city like Berlin. At the same time a voluntary confession instruction is appropriate, it was further said. Among the hundred or so initial signatories of the appeal are about two dozen theologians and pastors, including the publicist Eugen Drewermann, the former secretary general of "Pax Christi," Joachim Garstecki, and the former Brandenburg commissioner for foreigners, Almuth Berger. "I don't want a growing number of children to learn about homosexuality, for example, only in Islamic religious education classes," Frielinghaus continued. The situation is similar, for example, when it comes to the subject of abortion in Catholic religious education classes. In the same way, there are topics that he does not want to be dealt with by the Protestant church alone, said the Protestant theologian. The director of the Institute for Comparative Ethics at Freie Universitat, Michael Bongardt, emphasized that ethics classes should teach competencies that transcend denominational and religious boundaries. This includes talking about religion and learning to respect each other. He is "quite clearly pro ethics," said the former Catholic priest. It is meaningful and important that there is the possibility of such a teaching. However, everyone must be able to decide whether they want this. At the same time, the federal chairman of the ethics association in Berlin, Peter Kriesel, presented a new representative survey, according to which 53 percent of Germans are in favor of a compulsory subject in ethics. In contrast, 44 percent of those surveyed were in favor of a choice between religious education and ethics education as subjects of equal importance. For the survey, which was commissioned by the GEW (Union for Education and Science) from Infratest dimap, respondents were interviewed on 25. and 26. November nationwide 1.000 people aged 14 and over questioned. The Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz, on the other hand, referred to a representative Forsa survey from January 2008, according to which the "majority of those surveyed were in favor of a free choice between equal subjects of instruction.She also reiterated her support for the "Pro Reli" petition for a referendum. The referendum, which is currently running in Berlin, aims to put voluntary religious education on an equal footing with ethics classes in the German capital. Should the 21.January 170.000 signatures are collected, a referendum is pending in 2009.

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